OnePlus has not told so subtly that the company’s first smartwatch is coming. It’s not OnePlus’s first crack at the wearable whip, it reportedly developed a watch prototype in 2015 – early in the firm’s existence – but it eventually decided against a release.
The important question is: what will the new device mean for major smartwatch rivals like Apple and Samsung? enough.
Google’s Pixel 5 has just landed, but is it any good? See my review here.
Before OnePlus released its wireless buds, I wrote about how the company’s focus on smart connectivity between its devices would be the major selling point. Buy OnePlus devices and be rewarded with ecosystem-specific adjectives: such as the ultra low-latency mode Buds automatically switches to gaming on OnePlus phones.
In May, a Fast Company interview with OnePlus CEO Pete Lau reported that the company plans to take a vision of this ecosystem in the future. “According to early examples, the company describes how its smart TV has a shortcut to switch between apps and can automatically reduce volume when calls are made to OnePlus phones”, the story tells.
Lau calls it all a “deep adaptation” and I doubt it would be the same for the OnePlus Watch. I am excited to see how the company gets all of its affiliated techs to sing together. I can imagine, for example, the OnePlus Watch being used as a remote for your OnePlus TV which has more in-depth control. But that type of collaboration between OnePlus devices should not concern Samsung, Apple and others. How OnePlus values watch prices and I bet I would be happy that the Chinese company is too low.
The reason for mentioning the OnePlus Buds is that they were surprisingly cheap. They launched at a much lower price than $ 79 – Google’s Pixel Buds ($ 179), Apple’s AirPods ($ 159) and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus ($ 149). The new OnePlus Buds Z is also cheaper at $ 50.
The OnePlus 8 took the company back to its roots with high-end specifications at low prices. The OnePlus Nord did the same, but went one step further on the price. The company’s “flagship killer” marketing line inadvertently dropped it – as its phones had soared in value – now making a valid return. The OnePlus Watch will almost certainly follow the company’s recent abrupt switch in pricing strategy. The wearable is not $ 20 or $ 50 cheaper than the expensive competition, but some two-thirds or so of the cost.
This OnePlus is not going down this route. Google stepped away from building a top-tier flagship for the first time in years and Samsung released a surprisingly cheap version of the Galaxy S20. Nearly all the technical briefings I have attended this year have talked about making cheap devices for cash-strapped consumers who have less money due to the financial loss of Kovid-19. The OnePlus deluge of cheap appliances of 2020 suggests that it is following the same logic, which means that we can expect a similarly aggressive price at some point in the near future as well.
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